Destiny Lopez, acting co-CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, Calls on the US Supreme Court to Protect Abortion in Emergency Situations

“The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)’s importance has only increased as our nation reckons with the fallout from the Dobbs decision, which led to total abortion bans in 14 states and numerous other bans and restrictions around the country.  

At its core, this Supreme Court decision will reflect who we are becoming as a society: Are we okay with requiring pregnant individuals who face severe complications to suffer life-threatening health consequences rather than granting them access to abortion? Are we okay with forcing doctors to choose between violating federal law by not providing emergency abortion care or violating state law if they do? The Supreme Court needs to affirm that EMTALA protects the health and life of any pregnant person needing an abortion in a medical emergency.  

Despite bans and restrictions, more than one million abortions occurred within the formal US health care system in 2023. Yet anti-abortion policymakers continue to pursue their ultimate goal of banning every single abortion, no matter the circumstances. If the Court does not uphold emergency abortion care protections, this ruling will have devastating consequences for pregnant people—particularly Black and Brown folks, immigrants, people with lower incomes, those without health insurance and LGBTQ+ communities—while further emboldening extremists.”